European Union - Jean-Yves Le Drian’s participation in the EU Foreign Affairs Council - Statement by the Deputy Spokesperson (Brussels, 13 July 2020)


Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, took part today in the EU Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels. The ministers notably addressed the following points:

  • Turkey: an in-depth, no-holds-barred discussion took place at France’s request. Together with our partners, we noted that relations with Turkey had become difficult as a result of its unilateral actions in the eastern Mediterranean, Libya and Syria in particular, giving rise to major concerns in terms of international law. The ministers views were largely convergent regarding the need to seek clarifications from Ankara, in order to ensure that it respects the sovereignty of European states (Greece, Cyprus), and upholds the commitments made during the Berlin Conference on Libya, notably with regard to compliance with the UN-backed arms embargo. The minister reaffirmed that European interests and our security were at stake. Together with our partners, we called on EU High Representative Josep Borrell to swiftly make proposals in preparation for the forthcoming ministers’ meeting. In the meantime, work is continuing within the framework of the European regime established in response to the illegal drilling activities.
  • Libya: The EU reaffirmed the need to ensure that the arms embargo, violations of which continue to be the principle destabilizing factor, is respected, that Operation Irini’s mandate is fully implemented and that the sanctions tool is used against those who violate the embargo or sabotage the political process.
  • Hong Kong: The EU noted that the adoption of the national security law undermines the “one country, two systems” principle. A discussion took place on the measures that the EU could take as a consequence. The high representative was asked to make proposals in this regard.
  • Latin America: The ministers continued the discussions from the EU-Latin America ministerial meeting on Friday and reaffirmed the three goals: to provide emergency assistance to health systems in order to slow the spread of the virus; to help guarantee assistance for indigenous populations and the most vulnerable populations; to prepare for a sustainable post-crisis recovery. Jean-Yves Le Drian called for a debate on the dialogue and partnership between the two continents in order to ensure more ambitious EU commitment in the region.